The decision to have joint replacement surgery should be a cooperative one between you, your family, your family physician, and your orthopaedic surgeon. There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend joint replacement surgery. People who benefit from surgery often have:
-Severe joint pain that interferes with everyday activities, such as walking, running, reaching into a cabinet, dressing, toileting, washing or being limited in sports activities
-Moderate to severe pain while resting. This pain may be severe enough to prevent a good night’s sleep.
-Loss of range of motion of the joint and/or weakness in movement.
-Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, injections, physical therapy or perhaps arthroscopical treatment.
Generally, the pain associated with osteoarthritis develops gradually, although sudden onset is also possible. The joint may become stiff and swollen, making it difficult to bend or straighten the hip or the knee or raise the arm. Pain and swelling can be worse in the morning or after a period of inactivity. Pain may also increase after activities such as walking, stair climbing, or kneeling for hip and knee and overhead activities in shoulder joint degeneration. The pain can cause a feeling of weakness in the limb. Many people report that changes in the weather also affect the degree of pain from osteoarthritis.